The word ‘Jnana’ in Sanskrit means ‘knowledge’, ‘insight, or ‘wisdom’. Jnana yoga is one of the types of yoga mentioned in Hindu philosophies. According to ancient Greeks, the word gnosis means a special kind of liberating knowledge or intuition. Actually, both the terms ‘jnana’ and ‘gnosis’ are related through the Indo-European root ‘gno’, which means ‘to know’.
The path of Jnana-Yoga, which has been described as a straight but steep course, is outlined with elegant conciseness by Sadananda in his ‘Vedanta-Sara’, a fifteenth-century manuscript. Sadananda lists four principal means for attaining liberation.
1. Viveka - Discrimination: This is the capability to differentiate between what is real/eternal and what is unreal/ temporal (everything else in the universe.)
2. Vairagya-Dispassion: After practice one should be able to separate her/himself from everything that is temporary.
3. Shad-sampat - The 6 Virtues: Tranquility (control of the mind), Dama (control of the senses), Uparati (renunciation of activities that are not duties), Titiksha (endurance), Shraddha (faith), and Samadhana (perfect concentration).
4. Mumukshutva – the cultivation of the spiritual impulse